What can you do when you wake up late on a Sunday morning, you crave for good Italian food and you don't feel like going out to shop for groceries? You have to make do with what you have in the fridge. This is how sometimes hearty recipes come together, and it is certainly the case for this one: simple and tasty, can hardly go wrong.
- 3 Cumberland sausages
- 3 slices of back bacon
- 100ml red wine
- 200ml chicken stock
- 4-5 oven dried tomatoes (replaceable with two whole tomatoes out of a tin)
- 1 leek. finely chopped
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, squashed
- 1 fresh chilli, seeded and chopped
- a few leaves of rosemary
Cut the bacon in thin slices. In a large frying pan, heat some olive oil and fry the 2 cloves of garlic until golden, then add the bacon and fry it until almost crispy. Finally add the meat of the sausages, which you must first extract from the thin wrap.
Fry the bacon and sausages until the meat is cooked throughout, then remove the meat from the pan and add the onions. Fry for a minute, then add the leeks.
Once the leeks and onions are softened, deglaze the bottom of the pan with the red wine on high heat, and let evaporate for a couple of minutes. Finally, bring the heat down to medium and add the meat back into the pan.
Top the sauce with 200ml of chicken stock (I use my own frozen chicken stock and let it melt naturally on the meat). Add the chopped tomatoes. I use my magic oven roasted tomatoes, which add a lot of flavour without diluting the sauce. If you use canned plum tomatoes, I suggest you drain the water out of them for a couple of hours at least before use. Add the chopped chilli and rosemary leaves, and continue to reduce the sauce on a low simmer.
You will know when the sauce is ready when it looks like in the picture below. It should still retain some of its juices, but it must not be runny. I only added a very tiny pinch of salt, since the sausage and the bacon already did the job. I recommend you taste the sauce before adding any salt at all, since the result really depends on the saltiness of your sausages and bacon.
If you want to continue to simmer the sauce while cooking the gnocchi, just top it up now and then with some of the water from the gnocchi, and keep it going over low heat.
Boil the gnocchi in a large saucepan until they resurface (this usually takes a couple of minutes), then drain them and gently mix them into the saucepan, paying extra care to not mash the gnocchi.
Serve them on a plate with some grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of freshly grated black pepper.